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Bahrain gearing up to ensure air quality
28 June 2016 - Bahrain is gearing up to prepare for a national strategy to reduce emissions and ensure air quality in the country. The weekly Cabinet session, chaired by Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, decided to develop a national strategy for air quality. It also endorsed a national strategy under which the relevant sides in the energy, transportation, and industry will be committed to reduce their emissions. (more)

Bahrain opposition, future King hold rare meeting
15 January 2014 - The future King of Bahrain met with top Shiite opposition leaders on Wednesday for the first time in nearly three years, the last time being shortly after Arab Spring protests broke out in the Gulf Arab nation. The opposition groups said the meeting, which took place at the crown prince's palace upon his invitation, focused on parameters for reconciliation talks that aim to produce 'a new political agreement' for a permanent solution leading to 'equality and transition to a democratic monarchy'. (more)

Bahrain: Royal keynote address on World Press Freedom Day
2 May 2013 - His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has paid tribute to all journalists, media personnel, and intellectuals for their crucial role in protecting the country's security and stability and promoting national progress and prosperity. In an address marking the World Press Freedom Day, which falls on 3 May, HM the King affirmed respect of the press and media. He stressed resolve to continue the reform and democratic project unabated to promote political and media plurality and responsible freedom and urged commitment to professional and ethical standard, underling the importance of heeding vital national interests. (more)

Bahrain: Ban welcomes initiative to convene national political dialogue
24 January 2013 - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the initiative by the King of Bahrain to convene a national political dialogue, as well as the positive response to the proposal from opposition groups in the Persian Gulf nation. 'This initiative is an important first step towards reforms that ensure justice and human rights for all Bahrainis,' Mr Ban's spokesperson said in a statement on the endeavour begun by King Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa. (more)

Bahamas: Learning from Cuba's organic farming
13 November 2012 - The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation's visit to Cuba this month included high-level discussions with officials from the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture and a tour of Central Havana's urban agriculture learning facility, which includes an organic farm. Cuba has focused on organic farming, urban agriculture, and the development of biopesticides and bio-fertilizers -- generating safe, fresh, and nutritious foods. At the end of the visit, Cuban officials offered to send an agricultural technical delegation to evaluate the needs of the Bahamas and map out a plan of action. (more)

Bahrain-British friendship hailed
10 June 2012 - Alistair Burt, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office State Minister for the Middle East and Asia, is set to visit Bahrain to hold talks with officials as part of a Gulf Cooperation Council tour. His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa held a telephone conversation with Mr Burt and discussed the historic friendship bonding the Kingdom of Bahrain and the UK and also discussed means of boosting bilateral relations. (more)

UN welcomes Bahrain's move on activist cases
1 May 2012 - The UN human rights office is welcoming Bahrain's move to re-examine cases against activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and 20 others convicted last year by a military-led tribunal. A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says Bahraini authorities have now 'recognized the importance of moving away from military justice for civilians'. (more)

Bahrain's foreign minister visits Iraq
18 October 2008 - Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa visited Iraq Saturday in a sign of Baghdad's improving relations with Gulf Arab states after years of fragile ties. 'This visit is very important for both countries and it is a message about the continuation of the Arab presence in Baghdad,' Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told a joint news conference with Sheikh Khaled. (more)

Bahrain Prime Minister will try to ease Iran-US tension
22 April 2008 - Bahrain will do everything it can to ease tensions between Washington and Tehran, the Prime Minister of this Persian Gulf island state said Monday, saying war is not the solution for the problems between the two nations. (more)

Bahrain to host solar energy conference
8 October 2006 - The island of Bahrain has announced it will be the host of a three-day international conference on solar energy. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Medical charity cancels Bahrain ethics conference
24 March 2013 - Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said on Sunday it was cancelling a conference in Bahrain after the government failed to provide guarantees it would allow open debate over medical ethics. The US-allied Gulf Arab state has faced international criticism over court verdicts against doctors and nurses who treated Bahrainis injured in a 2011 uprising led by majority Shi'ite Muslims demanding reforms and complaining of alleged discrimination by the kingdom's Sunni rulers. Medecins Sans Frontiers said its decision came after a year of talks with the Bahraini government over guarantees for freedom of discussion at the conference, which would have dealt with ethics in times of political instability. We are forced to conclude that today in Bahrain it is not possible for medical professionals and international impartial participants to have a conversation about medical ethics,' Bart Janssens, MSF director of operations, said in a statement. (more)

Bahraini teenager killed in clash with police
18 August 2012 - A 16-year-old protester was killed after what opposition activists in Bahrain said was a 'brutal attack' by security forces, but which the Bahrain government described as a defensive response to a petrol bomb attack on police. The opposition says more than 45 people have been killed in protests since June 2011, when the government lifted martial law it had imposed to help quash pro-democracy demonstrations by its Shi'ite Muslim majority inspired by revolts against repressive dynasties across the Arab world. The protester's death -- after a demonstration on Friday night -- came as the United States expressed concern over Bahrain's jailing of a prominent opposition activist, Nabeel Rajab, for three years. Bahrain's own inquiry into the overall uprising and subsequent violence said at least five people had died under torture in government custody and recommended quashing verdicts issued against protesters by a military court. (more)

Bahrain protesters clash with police outside capital
12 May 2012 - Pro-democracy protesters burned tyres and clashed with police in Bahrain on Saturday to demand the release of opposition leaders and rights activists, one of whom has been on a three-month hunger strike, residents said. Hundreds of youths gathered in mainly Shi'ite villages outside the Gulf state's capital Manama, some masked and throwing petrol bombs towards rows of riot police, they said. In Washington, the US State Department said on Friday the United States would resume some military sales to Bahrain, a key Gulf ally facing Iran, despite human rights concerns linked to the popular protests against the island kingdom's rulers. Bahrain has been in turmoil since activists mainly from the majority Shi'ite community began protests in February 2011. The authorities tried to crush the movement with martial law and by bringing in Saudi troops, accusing activists of cooperating with Shi'ite Iran to change the system of government. The opposition and Iran reject the accusation. (more)

US resumes Bahrain arms sales despite rights concerns
11 May 2012 - The United States will resume some military sales to Bahrain, a key Gulf ally facing Iran, despite human rights concerns linked to months of popular protests against the island kingdom's rulers, the State Department said on Friday. US officials said among the sales now allowed to go forward would be harbour security vessels and upgrades to turbo-fan engines used in F-16 fighter aircraft as well as legislation which could pave the way for a future sale of a naval frigate. The decision was criticized by Senator Patrick Leahy, who wrote a provision Congress passed last year requiring the administration to consult lawmakers before allowing sales of tear gas and other crowd-control items to governments of countries undergoing democratic transition in the Middle East. Human rights advocates have criticized Washington for its muted response Bahrain's crackdown contrasted with strong US public support for popular protests in Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria. (more)

Bahrain says home-made bomb wounds four policemen
5 May 2012 - An improvised bomb wounded four Bahraini policemen on Saturday, a commander said, as police clashed again with protesters demanding the release of a jailed rights activist on hunger strike. Unrest has racked Bahrain for more than a year, with mainly majority Shi'ite protesters demanding more democracy and an end to what they see as discrimination in the Sunni-ruled Kingdom. 'The officers were dealing with saboteurs who were terrorising citizens ... and damaging public and private property,' Public Security Chief Major-General Tariq al-Hassan told the state-run Bahrain News Agency. Protests to demand the release of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja have been taking place daily across the Gulf Arab island state, which crushed mass street protests last year with the help of troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Khawaja has been on hunger strike for three months, according to his family. (more)

Bahraini protesters battle police outside Manama
23 March 2012 - Bahraini protesters battled with riot police near Manama on Friday after the funeral of a woman whose family said she died after tear gas entered her home twice in the past week. A UN rights body this week expressed concern over the use of excessive force and tear gas by Bahraini security forces. Police moved in with water cannon and armoured vehicles to break up hundreds of protesters as they approached a checkpoint near 'Pearl Roundabout', hub of pro-democracy protests last year led by majority Shi'ite Muslims complaining of marginalisation. Activists say at least 33 people have died since June amid daily clashes in Shi'ite districts, as the government tries to lock protesters in to stop any renewed mass movement in Manama. (more)

Bahraini police fire teargas at protesters
11 February 2012 - Bahraini police fired teargas and stun grenades to stop mainly Shi'ite protesters trying to march towards the roundabout at the centre of a failed pro-democracy uprising last year and detained two American rights activists who came to monitor. Groups of several hundred activists gathered at different points around Manama's old market district in an apparent effort to evade riot police, before suddenly marching towards the roundabout, now renamed al-Farouq Junction. Demonstrations, sometimes organised by leading Shi'ite opposition party Wefaq with government approval, have grown in number and frequency as the 14 February anniversary of the uprising approaches. But youth protesters in Shi'ite villages have also clashed with security forces, throwing petrol bombs and iron bars, and blocking roads with burning tires. Activists say at least two people have died in police custody in the past month and others have died from apparent effects of teargas, taking the total dead since 14 February, 2011 to over 60. The government disputes the causes of death. (more)

Bahrain boils as uprising nears 1-year mark
1 February 2012 - A year ago this month, Bahrain's majority Shiites took inspiration from the Arab Spring to sharpen long-standing grievances against the Sunni monarchy, accused by Shiites of relegating them to second-class status in the Western-allied nation. Within days of the first protest march, Bahrain was sliding into a crisis that would bring more than two months of martial law, more than 40 deaths, hundreds of arrests, and ongoing clashes so disruptive that the US Embassy last month relocated workers into safe haven neighbourhoods. Hit-and-run battles are now a near daily event in some areas with tear gas so intense that it's been blamed for respiratory failure among some of the nearly 40 deaths from the unrest. But the troubles also reach far beyond the tiny flame-shaped island off the Saudi coast. The past year has turned Bahrain into a crossroads for every major showdown in the region. 'The international paralysis over Bahrain has, if anything, become more pronounced with the rising tensions over Iran's nuclear programme,' said Toby Jones, an expert on Bahraini affairs at Rutgers University. 'It's every tough problem in the region funnelled into one small place.' (more)

Bahrain says bomb explodes near British embassy
4 December 2011 - A bomb placed under a vehicle exploded near the British embassy in Bahrain's capital Manama early on Sunday, but caused no casualties, the Gulf Arab state's Interior Ministry said. Bahrain has been tense since pro-democracy protests erupted in February following revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. The government imposed martial law for nearly three months and ordered mass detentions and trials to crush the protests. The government, dominated by the Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family, said the protests, led by majority Shi'ites, had sectarian motives and were fomented by Shi'ite power Iran. A diplomatic crisis between Iran and Britain deepened last week after youths stormed the British embassy in Tehran in protest against banking sanctions Britain imposed over Iran's nuclear energy programme. (more)

Bahrain Shiites pull out of reconciliation talks
17 July 2011 - A senior member of Bahrain's biggest Shiite party says its delegates have pulled out of talks with the island kingdom's Sunni rulers. Khalil al-Marzooq says top leaders of Al Wefaq party decided to withdraw from the US-backed talks during a meeting Sunday, claiming the other side was not serious about addressing Shiite demands for greater rights and political freedoms. (more)


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